Dall-e’s take

Find a fast current, not a large body of water

Often we talk about markets as if we were speaking about a body of water — a description of the size or depth.

I’ve found it is far more useful to think of markets instead like a river with a current. As a founder (the ship’s captain), your job is to find the current, and then build the best ship (product) and team to ride it.

A strong current makes the actual job of being the captain a heck of a lot easier. You could have a plank of wood to start in a strong current, and you’ll still move a lot faster than a slick boat in stagnant waters.

Right now, OpenAI with GPT-3 is undoubtedly creating a current. As a founder or investor, I think you’d be foolish to ignore it. A lot of people might see some of the early planks of wood and say “that’s barely a boat, where is it going to go?”, ignoring the speed at which it’s moving. A great team can keep building something that can take more and more advantage of the current over time, which I’m guessing will only accelerate when GPT-4 comes out.

Yes, there may be whirlpools along the way, or waterfalls (see crypto/web3!), so I wouldn’t recommend jumping on a fast current without some scouting and a strategy on how to navigate them. But don’t overthink it — a fast current can make up for a lot of sins.

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Sarah Tavel

native new yorker, SF-resident. general partner @benchmark. formerly product @Pinterest. originally blogging at www.adventurista.com.